About us - St Stephens by Saltash
The church today still stands in the village of St Stephens, but with the population explosion that followed the opening to the Tamar road bridge in 1961 has caused the housing to catch up with it. It’s long history has seen many changes in circumstances both in its worship and its service to the community.
Today it ministers to the rapidly expanding area’s of the town where new housing in Latchbrook and Pillmere have added to the developments of the 1960’s and ‘70’s, together turning this once rural parish into an increasingly suburban one. As the town grows so does the call on St Stephens for services of Baptism, Holy Matrimony and funerals, which we see as opportunities to engage with e community in which we are set.
The was a church in this parish as early as the 13th century and it stood on the same site as the present church. It is believed to have been consecrated in 1259. The earliest reference to the benefice is in 1278, and in 1288 the church was most highly rated in the deanery.
Many restorations have taken place over the years. For example, a major renewal of the roof timbers in 1997, when the electrical system was also fully renewed together with a sound system and a hearing loop. The rear of the church has been cleared of the pews to provides a social area and a disabled friendly toilet has been installed. Since then many maintenance projects have taken place including the clearance of the church yard by work parties made up from the parishioners.
The advowson belonged to the Earl of Cornwall who held the manor and the castle of Trematon. This lapsed in the 1300 to the Crown, and successive Prince of Wales, as Earls of Cornwall, held the advowson. In a deed, dated 6th May 1351, the Prince of Wales granted the advowson to his father, King Edward III, who handed it over to the Canons of Windsor, for the maintenance of the Chapel of St George, where the Knights of the Garter - founded by King Edward III - meet. Thus began our connection with Windsor which lasts to the present day, the Patrons being the Dean and the Canons of Windsor.